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Breaking Off big AJs?

Old 09-10-2019, 11:14 AM
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Default Breaking Off big AJs?

Any advice on getting big AJs to the boat? Catching them at about 40-50í in 110í water, but they are diving for the rocks and breaking off our terminal tackle. Using 80lb fluro for the leaders. Tried leaving drag out to let them run but they dive for the rocks. Tried tightening the drag to get them away from the bottom but have broken at the leader. Even tried wire leader (though I think it got wrapped around the braid and broke at the braid). Do I need to go 100-130lb leader!? Looking at buying a 2-speed as well if that might help. Thoughts?
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:22 AM
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Big leader. You can use 150-200lbs and crimp it if you want, especially when live baiting. We lock down the drag on a 30 or 50 wide and pull them off structure with the boat before we take the rod out of the holder.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:29 AM
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Does fluro matter when itís that big of leader? Iíve heard of folks using the boat to pull AJs away from the rigs, just above idle, more?
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:43 AM
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AJs are not line shy. They bite just fine on my 250lb leader. Get a big reel and button it down. Reel like crazy and use the boat to pull it off structures if needed.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MudhenFishing View Post
Does fluro matter when itís that big of leader? Iíve heard of folks using the boat to pull AJs away from the rigs, just above idle, more?

Well above idle, hold on tight for about 100 yards while I punch it! Not on plane but darn close and it's only a couple seconds to get 100 yards. Then you can back off the drag and battle it out.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:06 PM
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bigger hammer!
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ashcreek View Post
Well above idle, hold on tight for about 100 yards while I punch it! Not on plane but darn close and it's only a couple seconds to get 100 yards. Then you can back off the drag and battle it out.
This is the way to do it. I use this same approach with much lighter hardware.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:13 PM
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The way we do it in La on the oil rigs is to employ what is often referred to as an Amberjerker. Don't google that. Basically it consists of a heavy rod and a large Penn Senator with drag locked down as tight as you can get it. Reel is spooled up with very heavy power pro, with a #250 leader crimped to a swivel to the main line and crimped to a big circle hook on the tag end. You do not hold on to this rod, it goes in the gunnel rod holder and as soon as the hardtail gets slammed, the captain uses the motor to drag the fish away from the rig, at which point you can either grab the rod and fight the fish standing up, or do like me and just leave it in the gunnel and crank on it while the captain makes sure to keep the line free of the engine. It's not particularly fun.

Last edited by fishingrelief; 09-10-2019 at 12:50 PM. Reason: too much use of the word 'rig'
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:19 PM
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Guess all the worms in them give em power.

Doug
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rdmallory View Post
Guess all the worms in them give em power.

Doug
that's more of an east coast thing

some here will have a few near the tail, nothing like the ones on the east coast / atlantic tho
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:54 PM
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Regardless of worms I regard them pretty low on table fare relative to the other bottom fishing species around. They are fine but I'd much prefer going after cobias, snappers, if at all possible.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:32 PM
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Over here I just keep my bait way up in the column and have the drag hammered down and they come up and get it and can't get back down in the garbage.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:10 PM
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I caught one offVenice that had a hook and frayed leader in its mouth. I swear I use smaller line in my weed eater than that leader...
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:56 PM
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I use 80 lb flouro and back off the rig and am fine, keeping them from diving into the shallow reef might heavy drag and leader route.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:30 PM
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250 lb power pro main line and 200 lb leader. They donít seem to mind at all. Keep rod in gunnel rod holder and gas down. Open a beer and tell guest to reel it up.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by stumprunner View Post
250 lb power pro main line and 200 lb leader. They donít seem to mind at all. Keep rod in gunnel rod holder and gas down. Open a beer and tell guest to reel it up.
That's the way it's done...
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:12 PM
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Just wanted to point out that 250lb braid will most certainly work but is unnecessary. If you tie the proper knot, properly, it is not needed.

I've caught some on 80lb leader but it is the lightest leader I would recommend. If you're breaking off at the hook I would step up to 100/130lb (that's the biggest you want to use knots on). If still breaking off at the hook I would go 200lb with crimps. I would recommend tying all palomar knots for the leader. Braid should be FG, PR, or a doubled up palomar. Good knots are critical when using 30+lbs of drag....
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:20 PM
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Sounds like 80-130# Jerry Brown hollowcore with a loop to loop to a wind-on leader would be a good fit for those beasts. Just crimp the hook.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fishingrelief View Post
Regardless of worms I regard them pretty low on table fare relative to the other bottom fishing species around. They are fine but I'd much prefer going after cobias, snappers, if at all possible.
cubed, dredged in panko with Cajun seasoning... fried in butter...
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:10 AM
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I've used upwards of 400lb mono for AJ's.
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